October 2011

Dr. Rules Column

October 2011

Connecticut Masters

     This column will be a monthly feature highlighting information on the more common rules of swimming events, strokes, kicks, starts and turns.  You may also send your questions into Dr. Rules and he will attempt to answer your inquiries.  Rules are some of the most important parts of a meet for which you should be prepared.  At times, masters swimmers tend not to know the proper rules, are often disqualified and do not know why or what the correct rule is.

With the START of the Connecticut Masters website and online newsletter, Dr. Rules thought that is would be appropriate to share information in this monthly column on STARTS:

Article 101/Rule 101.1.1 Forward Start- The forward start may be taken from the starting block, the pool deck or a push from the wall.  At the commencement of each heat, the referee shall signal to the swimmers by a series of whistles to remove all clothing except for swimwear; followed by a long whistle indicating that they should take their positions with at least one foot at the front of the starting platform, the edge of the pool or on the wall before the command “Take your mark.”  Those starting in the water must have at least one hand in contact with the wall or starting block.

The three most important concepts of this rule are that the forward start may be taken from the starting block, the pool deck or with a push from the wall.  This is a rule that respects the range of ages in US Masters Swimming as some individuals cannot physically dive off of a block because of aging knees, sore shoulders, fear of heights, etc.  Hence, the rule is liberal in its intent for you.

More next month on backstroke breastroke and butterfly starts.